Agents of Mayhem Review

By ratcheting up the over-the-top elements with each entry in the Saints Row franchise, Volition wrote themselves into a bit of a corner. What started as a GTA clone with a goofy sense of humor turned into a ludicrous affair with characters that could fly across the map and access superpowers. Once characters were shooting fireballs from their hands and flying around Hell with demon wings, there wasn’t a lot of room left to keep cranking up the crazy.

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy Review

It would be so much easier to be cynical about a fifth Uncharted game arriving barely a year after the fourth Uncharted game if Naughty Dog didn’t keep doing such a good job of making these things. You’d be forgiven if you worried last year’s Uncharted 4–itself coming off a successful PlayStation 3 trilogy that felt like it had already run its course–looked like an unnecessary cash grab. But that game thoroughly justified its own existence in the end by acting as an elaborately plotted and personal coda to Nathan Drake’s entire treasure-hunting career. Surely that was it, though, right?

Age of Empires: the RTS that proved strategy could sit alongside simplicity

My villager hacks away at a tree trunk with his axe. Again and again he strikes it, piling up as many logs as his wheelbarrow can carry before carting it off to the lumber camp a short distance away, which I’ve placed on the edge of a dense forest. Then it’s back to his chopping. It’s a hypnotising loop. And an important one, too: that wood is the lifeblood of my Aztec civilisation. It means I can build houses for more villagers, who can then farm crops to feed my army, mine stone and gold to kit out my cavalry, or – in full circle – chop up more wood.